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How your PSLs are damaging your recruitment and you don't even know it

Posted by: Jessica Wood on Wed 15 April 2015


How your PSLs are damaging your recruitment and you don't even know it

You’ve decided to sell your house and need an estate agent. In making your selection do you consider who’s offering the most competitive price, or, do you go with who has the best reputation and will do you the best job of selling your home? Whatever your criteria you settle on one agent, you certainly didn’t engage 5 or 6. The last thing you want is to give the impression that there may be something wrong with your house and you felt compelled to use as many agents as possible to sell it. Only after a period of time with no or little interest in your property might you decide to do a multi-arrangement and instruct another.

So, what’s this got to do with recruitment?

Back in the day, it may have been seen as an ‘honour’ to be on a company’s Preferred Suppliers List (PSL), however, the real truth is working with multiple recruitment firms can damage your recruitment process and repel your most desirable candidate.

Let’s look at it, as an employer you have a vacancy you need to fill asap. You’re looking for a suitably experienced and qualified candidate who will fit in well with your existing team. What’s your next step? Phone loads more recruitment companies if you’re a big firm, and give each of them your role to work on.

Why? Why not just start with one or two at a push like you do when you sell your house?

Here’s the damage caused by giving your one vacancy to numerous recruitment companies:

  • From experience we know quality candidates will receive numerous calls from recruiters all presenting your opportunity making your firm look desperate to fill a role. The constant bombardment of calls, SMS, emails, LinkedIn messages etc all about the same role from different agencies invariably turns them off. Besides it looking inefficient from your side, you’re putting your vacant position in an unattractive light
  • PSLs are usually seen as a cost saving exercise and it’s likely you’ve imposed low fee rates to your PSL members; some recruiters may promote their better candidates to clients who are willing to pay a higher fee margin. Also, if you have a very large PSL say 10+ recruitment companies if the recruiter believes they have say a 1 in 10 chance of filling a particular role then will they work as hard on your vacancy or concentrate their efforts on roles with clients that they have a better chance of filling?
  • The chances are you’re likely to be presented with the same candidate multiple times. You then waste valuable time handling ‘introduction’ disputes from various recruiters
  • Our recent survey shows the importance to candidates and employees of a company’s employer brand that employers just aren’t recognising. This type of multiple recruiter activity can damage your employer brand
  • The latest “Report on Jobs” edition (April 2015) published by KPMG and the REC showed an increase shortage in good candidates relating to higher starting salaries as the shortage continues. Highlighting the importance now more than ever of having the most attractive recruitment process in place.

Whilst PSLs have their place, for some positions working more closely with recruitment companies and working in partnership with them for specialist/harder to fill roles can be so much more beneficial for both you as the employer and the candidate experience too.

Instead of scattering your recruitment needs across multiple agencies, consider working with a smaller amount of recruiters. The benefits:

  • Gives you more time to spend providing the much needed information about your business, the role, the type of person you need
  • Enables the recruiters to champion your brand more effectively, work collaboratively with you and develop a long term, trusted and respected relationship where we are able to handle your long-term recruitment needs
  • Protects your employer brand within the marketplace.

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Jessica and her team at Sandringham Wood took the time to listen to my career aspirations and what I wanted from my next role. Unlike other recruitment agencies, Jessica genuinely wanted to ensure an employer was suitable to me and vice...


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Sandringham Wood
54 Parrys Lane, Stoke Bishop
Bristol, BS9 1AQ

Sandringham Wood Recruitment Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales
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